Psychosomatic Illness in Early Modern Italy: lessons for modern psychiatric theory and practice [ 2007 - 2009 ]

Research Grant

[Cite as]

Researchers A/Prof YA Haskell; Prof S Starkstein

Brief description This pioneering collaboration between researchers in humanities and medicine will investigate the ways psychosomatic illness was defined and spread in early modern Italy. Epidemics of such illness still occur today and have had a major social and economic impact on Australia in recent decades. Our project will draw lessons for modern psychiatric theory and practice from historical and cultural differences in the conceptualisation and communication of 'hypochondria'. It will shed light on a very contemporary ethical dilemma in psychiatry: should doctors lie to 'hypochondriacal' patients? It will also contribute to current debates on the role of disease labels and information in the incidence and 'infectiousness' of psychosomatic illness.

Funding Amount $128,882

Funding Scheme Discovery Projects

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